TOWNSHIP DRIVERS DEMAND CESSATION OF MULTIPLE TICKETING BY MOT TASKFORCE
The Township Drivers Association of Akwa Ibom State has sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) to the State Government, lamenting of inducement of multiple ticketing by Ministry of Transport (MOT) Taskforce on their transport business.
They said the development has deprived them of a meaningful livelihood which has brought a negative toll on their survival in the face of economic down turn.
The Township Drivers made the call yesterday, Thursday – September 9, 2021 as they took to the street a peaceful protest with a stopover at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
According to the leader of the team who is also the Public Relations Officer (P.R.O) of the Association, Cmd Bassey Udofia, “We came to meet the number three man of the state to present our concerns since our previous meeting with the Transport Commissioner proved abortive.”
Leader of the protesting team of Township Drivers Association of Akwa Ibom State addressing the members.
He went ahead to explain that the Association had previously embarked on a similar peaceful protest which attracted the attention of the Commissioner of Transport and Solid Mineral, Hon. Uno Etim Uno.
According to the group, the Commissioner debunked he was not aware of the multiple ticketing and illegal extortion of money by MOT taskforce. Then, the Commissioner assured the Drivers that the scenario will not repeat itself and promised to look into the matter.
The Drivers on Thursday protest said they were alarmed to witness the same MOT taskforce coming back to the street to terrorize drivers with the same illegal extortion.
“Yesterday, the so-called MOT enforcement team came out to terrorize Drivers again. We wanted to meet the Commissioner but we decided to intimate the lawmaking body of the state which is called the ‘People’s Assembly,’ of what indigenes of Akwa Ibom State who take to transport business are going through in their own state.”
The Drivers decry of multiple levies placed on them by both the MOT taskforce and ‘Agbero’ group.
Contained in a document previously submitted to the Commissioner for Transport and Solid Mineral are 12 point demands by the Association to address their plight.
In part, they demanded; “The immediate withdrawal of a circular dated, 14/2/2020 and which has been effected since 1st July, 2020 from Board of Internal Revenue Service increasing the price of Roadworthiness renewal from N1,500 to N5,300 and now further increased to N9,800.
“We want the immediate end of this embarrassment/harassment by the following on Township Drivers in Akwa Ibom State: MOT taskforce, Men of Nigerian Police Force (Traffic Warden) who leaves their mandate of controlling traffic situation within the state to indulge in extortion, Anti-Touting Taskforce Team headed by one Mr. Blessing Ukim who has been terrorizing our drivers and extorting huge amount of money as high as N50,000 in the name of driving out-off our designated routes or wrong parking,
VIO charges of N75,000 for booked vehicles and a stop to the impounding of our vehicles over wrong parking as there is no designated bust-stops. ‘You can not place something on nothing’ and expect it to stand and demand huge amount from us before our vehicles are released.”
They also demanded end of multiple ticketing which is as high as N950 daily within the four LGAs that make up Uyo capital city. Outside these four LGAs, going farther to a LGA like Oron will require purchase of a N700 ticket plus the one previously bought per day.
Purchase of LG emblem for N5,500 and the sales of MOT waste basket at the cost of N5,000 (Defaulters charged N30,000), city permit at the rate of N5,000, they cried is on a high side for drivers. Also, about N25,000 is required to get their impounded vehicles released.
The group further said ‘Agbero’s’ welfare of N200/day for 7 years has amounted to N18b or N19b. They expressed fear of insecurity for such monies to be in the coffers of ‘Agberos.’
The delayed intervention of the state government in providing buses has left drivers to private individuals whose hired purchase price has become exorbitant, the group further lamented.
They also pleaded with the state government to scrap TEON, a consultant for revenue collection whose team led by one Mfon Okon Edet has been employing thuggery and violent method in collecting revenue from drivers.
After meeting with the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, he promised to consult with relevant stakeholders in the sector to address the issue.
He urged the drivers to be law abiding, assuring them that the impounded vehicle of one of them, Victor Ediong will be released.